Rating: 4/5 – Perfect for Parents of Kids Who Have Monster Issues
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Monsters is a collection of short stories ideal for parent to read with their children. Most of the stories will help children work through issues related to fear. Fear of being different or not fitting in. Fear of things unknown, or sometimes known, that are strange to them and hard for them to process. A few are just fun monster stories.
Writer Karen Beilharz works with a variety of artists to bring a the stories to life and like with any anthology, the art is a mixed bag. On the plus side, since art appreciation is a strange and wonderful thing, unique to each individual, there should be stories in here that are visually appealing to each reader. I found the variety of art styles appealing and on par with those found in books targeted at children, who are the ultimate audience of the stories, which are meant to be read to or with your child by parents.
There are 11 stories in the collection, all written by Beilharz, as well as a series of monster drawings by 5 to 8 years olds that are utterly charming. 10 of the stories can be read on the web right now (go have a look!) I think each reader will have their own favorites, mine are:
Monster Hunter, illustrated by Mike Barry, in which a mother teaches her daughter to stand up to the monsters.
The Dark, illustrated by Peter Fairfax, in which a little girl conquers her fear of the dark with the advice from an unlikely source. Someone who would easily be cast in a far different role in another story.
Here Be Dragons, illustrated by Kathleen Jennings, mostly because I just love maps.
My Mummy the Monster, illustrated by Rene Pfitzner, which was my favorite of the bunch because it was just so charming. This one could be a standalone children’s book.
My own kids are a bit outside the target demographic (they are 21 and 25). They haven’t been afraid of monsters for a couple of years now… but this set of stories would have been great to have had when they were much younger. Have a look at the stories on the web at Hivemindedness.com, most of the stories can be read online, but if you would like to get a hardcopy to read with your child, you’re in luck. They are running a crowdsourcing campaign right now via Pozible that is being run out of Australia, but ships worldwide. Well worth the time for any parent of small children to have a look at.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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